Archive for the ‘Nintendo’ Category

What does it mean to be a “girl gamer”?

This isn’t really a question that I ask myself, I don’t really ever even think about that question. Until I see the look on people’s faces when they find out I play games. For me, and I would assume for most of us “girl gamers” we don’t think about it, because this is just the way that we are.
I am female, an adult, and I like, no dare I say, LOVE video games! I am just like the men/boy gamers of the world. So why are we seen so differently? For some reason females in gaming are seen as this elusive species, a legend, an urban myth, a unicorn. So let me let you in on a little secret, we exist! We are out there, you walk by us every day, you talk to us, you interact with us, in some cases we might even be your boss, and just in case you hadn’t noticed there are females in the gaming industry working hard to create these games we have all dedicated countless hours to, and guess what… They are doing it right alongside the men!

So why am I asking this question now?
I don’t think most people realize what women take on when they find themselves drawn to what, from an outsider (and even some insiders) feel is a boys club. Most of the time we are dismissed, and it is automatically assumed that we can’t play or that all we play are Hello Kitty and Disney games (absolutely nothing wrong with that) but there is so much more to us. We don’t all get into gaming because our brothers or boyfriends taught us too. Most of us found ourselves attracted by the amazing worlds that opened up literally at our fingertips, most of us taught ourselves how to play with countless hours of sometimes frustrating gameplay, and for most of us years later, we still love it!
So let me share with you the story of one such “girl gamer”.

I was young and completely unaware of the video game world. I had seen my uncle play with an Atari, but I was never allowed to play, because of course… I was a girl. One day I happened to find myself staring wide eyed at a Sega Genesis, I still remember what it felt like. I was just walking by, minding my own business at the local toy store, and all of the sudden behind this glass cabinet was this amazing shiny black box that literally screamed out my name. It was indescribable, I had to have it! It looked beautiful, and the worlds it promised, I literally stood there enthralled. I pressed my little face up to the glass hoping that somehow magically through osmosis I could just touch it. Fortunately the gods were smiling down on me, and my mom decided I had been a good enough little girl to warrant such a gift. You see I am the oldest of four, the only girl and she was about to have my first of three younger brothers so really, I think she was just trying to butter me up for permanent baby sitter availability.
This one moment is what started it all, from that moment on I was hooked. I spent hours completely immersed in so many games that to this day I still absolutely love, and fortunately some of them have even been remade, Castle of Illusion being one of those games I loved and after having a chance to play it again recently it is still amazing. I have to say my only regret of those early gaming days is never having beat Ecco the Dolphin (those were definitely my first nerd rage moments). As I continued to grow and my desire for games increased I discovered Nintendo, and let’s just say they stole my heart.
Throughout the years there have been so many games that I have enjoyed and I literally own every gaming console and handheld, in some case multiples that have come out since the Genesis (except a Neo Geo Pocket that was stolen and never replaced) but for some reason there is no other that speaks to my heart the way Nintendo does. There is a small exception to that, Gears of War, I don’t know what it is about that series that touched me but I actually cried more than once as I played through the trilogy (I say that because I didn’t play the last one, a slight boycott since Cliff Blezinski had nothing to
do with it).

So many years and so many games but one thing remains the same I am a gamer!
I wait with baited breath for word on the latest releases from my favorite developers. I subscribe to numerous gaming magazines. I follow news online about the goings on of the gaming world. I have even been known to cosplay now and again.
It’s no secret to those that know me that if you just but peaked inside my bag you would surely find my 3DS XL and that my little friend and I have only been parted twice, once for surgery, and once because it was stolen, the latter a very sad experience as not only did I not have my little friend but OH MY GOD, my save data!
It is also no secret that I rather spend quality time at home playing my latest game on a day off than wasting it at the mall or some other place that us girls are supposed to go. I strategically organize my schedule to ensure that I have release day and a couple of days off after launch to make the most of my gaming time (can’t wait for Destiny launch and 3 days off). My most recent acquisition was Diablo iii Ultimate (not enough games like this). I find myself wanting to jump out of my comfort zone and try games that I might not be as great at but am drawn by the world. I will even share another little secret with you… I am a damn good sniper!

So you see,we are not all that different from all the other gamers you know. So I ask you, in the end aren’t we all just gamers that love, hate, and dive in to these vast universe time and time again to experience and enjoy the possibilities at our fingertips?

*This was originally posted on shegotgamedoc.ca so I thought I would make it available on my own blog as well. Click on the link and check out all the great work that Cailleah Scott-Grimes is doing to highlight women in gaming!

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It has been just a day shy of two weeks since the video game world was shown the latest happenings and future releases that we should all be waiting with bated breath for. But are we…

I have been slowly processing all that I saw and heard over the several days of press conferences, demo’s, trailers, and interviews that normally leave me every year literally counting the days until said games will grace store’s shelves but what happened this year?

I have watched many an E3 throughout the years and there have been good and bad times as with all things there are ebbs and flows, but even two weeks later I am still wondering what did I really think of what was shown to us. In some cases leaving people wondering is a good thing but Im not really sure that in this case it is…

For a long time there has been alot of talk about how long the video game industry can sustain its epic growth and amazing ability to generate dollars, but for me its always about whether or not it can sustain its relevance. A lot of people find themselves gaming on other devices that are not dedicated to gaming and although I genuinely believe there should be a place for all gamers I am still of the mind that one can only experience the true heart, ingenuity, and world that video games open up on machines that have been designed from the ground up as just that, a portal to a new world.

This E3 left me wondering though if the companies that hold sway in the industry still have the passion and heart that existed when this industry was still in its infancy. Do they genuinely care about bringing good content and vast universes to their droves of fans or has the powerhouse of the financial dollars begun to tarnish their hearts and all they see is dollar signs…

As I continue to ask myself these questions there are a few things that I have come away with as far as the Big 3 is concerned…

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Overall Sony’s press event was a pretty good showing, awkward moments and all. I enjoyed the fact that they created an App that you could access directly from your console to keep you connected to all their goings on, however the execution could have been better as it would simply launch the browser for you instead of working itself out smoothly through the app. They kept the flashy lights and in your face arm flexing to a minimum which I appreciate as I think sometimes we loose what its really about which is ultimately the worlds that these developers have slaved over to bring to our greedy little eyes. That being said here is what I am most excited about from Sony…

Destiny- Although this is not exclusive to the PS4, I am very excited about the partnership that seems to have been cultivated behind the scenes between Sony and Bungie. They offered an opportunity for players to sign up for the Alpha and as a good little gamer I did and have succeeded in making myself impatiently await the Beta as well. With lots of still unanswered questions about the specifics of the game I have almost convinced myself that I will also be needing the Limited Edition Destiny White PS4 bundle that was announced releasing in September this year. Even though I am disappointed that an actual collector’s edition was not announced.

The Order 1886- This title is an exclusive and looks great. I love the spin on the Arthurian legend (I have a slight obsession and have watched, read, played everything that has to do with it) and I love the gritty, dirty world the game lives in. I am skeptical of a few things but am still looking forward to its release in February 2015.

DW Gundam Reborn and Ebzu also piqued my curiosity and I thoroughly enjoyed Journey and Flower so I am most looking forward to Ebzu! Entwined was a surprise as it reminds me alot of the concept of Journey and Flower so I am looking forward to checking this one out but have not found the time just yet as it was availible immediately after its announcement.

I like the fact that Sony is also looking for ways to expand the worlds created within games to movies and shows so I was excited to hear about The Ratchet and Clank movie as well as the Powers series that was announced especially the fact that PS Plus members will be able to watch the Powers episodes for free. And although Playstation TV was not necessarily a surprise announcement I am looking forward to its release as I feel it will work similarly to an Apple Tv and I feel is a good addition to the household.

Overall maybe not the most epic year for Sony but they do have my interest piqued and will acquire a nice chunk of money from me over the next six months or so. Mainly in my perception they seem to have started to remember what most important to us gamers… Games!

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Some people might call me a fan girl and thats ok but for me the bottom line is that I feel Nintendo speaks to my heart, what I mean is they keep it simple, uncomplicated, and just good fun!
This year their decision to forego the usual big flashy lights press conference to me was a good one.
Their digital event I felt was focused on what is the most important thing and thats games, I felt they also showed that they know there is opportunity and that they are not above poking fun at themselves in the form of the skits they had the peeps from Robot Chicken do for them and they kept it more real than I believe some of the other companies did with they’re talking head performances.
The Nintendo Treehouse was another example of keeping it about the games and I felt gave us a good opportunity to see how hard some of these developers work on their games and the passion that is behind every employee that works with or for The Big N!

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Bill Trinen

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Shigeru Miyamoto

Those are just two of the people that spent time in the Treehouse talking to you about all the upcoming games from Nintendo. There are so many more that were on during the three day event that kept me coming back time and time again!

Nintendo also hosted a Smash Tournanment which although I don’t agree with the guy that won (I think Kirby deserved it more) I truly enjoyed watching and was excited to see two girls make it pretty far through the tournament (I liked the Villager best), and I was most excited to see who stopped by for a few to chat!

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Masahiro Sakurai

If it wasn’t for the Limited Edition Destiny PS4 Bundle Nintendo would have won the “Who will take all my money contest” but here is the list of games that I am impatiently awaiting from Nintendo.

Hyrule Warriors – September 26
Fantasy Life – October 24 (This was a surprise for me as I hadnt really heard anything about it before and is the one I am literally jumping up and down for!
Captain Toad Treasure Tracker – Holiday 2014
Bayonetta 2 – Holiday 2014 (I am excited it comes with the original and was honeslty rather indifferent about this title until I watched the Treehouse interview with some of the devs.)
Xenoblade Chronicles X – 2015
Pokemon Omega Ruby and Alpha Saphire – November 21
Yoshi’s Whooly World – 2015
SSB 3DS and WiiU – October and November
Zelda U – 2015 (of course this is just obvious!)

As for the third in the Big 3 I have to say I am very disappointed and I know some people might not agree with me but Microsoft did nothing to impress me (except this exclusive title called Ori and The Blind Forest) in fact I was really hoping that I would see something that would convince me to run out and buy an XBOX One and aside from Halo which will inevitably force me to go buy one I got nothing! All I saw was a bunch of talking heads and flashing lights screaming that it was all about the games and players. I saw them awkwardly roll out some of the devs and peeps behind the scenes (which I am glad they finally did) but it didn’t feel genuine, it felt like a sales tactic, a pitch to convince you that they really have had the players in their main thoughts all this time. Which for me it just seems that they have seen their profits impacted so they are gonna tell you what they know you want to hear, like I said alot of people might not agree with me but that was the impression I got, I just hope one day they actually start believing the things they are saying…

Overall I thouroughly enjoyed all the aspects of E3 2014, good and bad.

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Aside from my TV and Consoles, this is what my E3 setup looked like (for some reason my cat loves electronics).
I am sure we all spent E3 differently and we all have equally different opinions on what and who we thought was the best but no matter whose side we have chosen for me what will always be most important is the games and the developers that have worked, sweat, and sometimes bled to bring them to us!

Phew… I did it! I actually spent some time on this April Fool’s 2014 catching all 150 Pokemon. Google was kind enough to provide us with a great way to kill time on a day off, now if I could just answer why I spent my day off enjoying an April Fool’s joke I just might be ok!

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This past weekend was National Streetpass Weekend where all over the country 3DS owners had a chance to meet other Mii’s from all over by visiting any Nintendo Zone location. Lucky for me one of my Nintendo Zone locations is in my local mall where Nintendo had setup their Holiday 2013 showcase with a chance for kids (young and old) to check out all the latest Nintendo goodies. So of course I had to check it out! Lucky for me Nintendo decided to reward my fastiduous loyalty and treat me with a visit from Pikachu too, and for some added excitement I got an extra treat for attending, a pre-order bonus (not in the US, of course) that they gave with Pokemon X & Y which was an awesome Pokeball game holder (I had totally drooled over it when I saw it online)! What more could I ask for… well I cant tell you, cause if I do my wish wont come true…

Giddy with joy I tell you I was last night at midnight as I walked into my local game store to replace my stolen 3DS XL! I figured that while all the other gamers would be getting their hands on the newly released XboxOne it would be a perfect time for my new pick up my new 3DS XL and a Link Between Worlds (of course)!!! I had been waiting torturously to do so since my machine was stolen over two weeks ago but what a better day than on release day for the latest story in the Zelda franchise, and I also couldn’t help but firmly state my love for Nintendo and my support for Sony’s newest console (picked that up on release day at midnight as well). Dont get me wrong I am sure I will have to eventually give in and purchase one along with the rest of the gamers out there but not yet, I require a little more substance first…
My day didn’t end there as I had to contact Nintendo and ask if there was any way that I could get all my games that I had purchased as well as my Ambassador Certificate back, and you know what, they said yes! The guy that I was talking to probably thought I was a little nuts but I didn’t care I was so happy. After giving him a few pieces of information such as police report and serial numbers (from my old machine and new) he said I would just have to wait about 24 hours and that I would have all my eShop stuff back. I have dealt with alot of customer service reps in the past two weeks or so dealing with the theft of my belongings and I must say Nintendo takes the cake, from their awesome hold music (The Legend of Zelda soundtrack), to their amazingly pleasant people, and their desire to help, I am one happy customer! It s a pretty bad feeling having your belongings stolen and they helped this girl feel very special, so Thank You Nintendo for making a bad situation seem alot better!

The Loss of a 3DS XL

Posted: November 8, 2013 in Musings, Nintendo
Tags: , , , ,

Just forty eight hours ago someone decided that they should help themselves to my purse and all of the belongings that I have worked so hard for and painstakingly collected along my journeys in this life. They decided that there existence on this planet was so great that in less than a minute time span they could take what took me a far greater time to acquire! Inside this bag I had all my most portable possessions, as most of us do it contained my iPhone (brand new 5s no less that I waited in line for at the crack of dawn on release day), my new amazing limited edition Hello Kitty clutch, a custom made Pokemon makeup bag, and various other treasures, (namely some amazing trinkets I brought back from a recent trip to Tokyo, I was working on a collection of Evee’s). But the item that has left the biggest hole in my life is my Black 3DS XL! I have had a 3DS almost since day one (just a few months shy) and I lovingly covered my original one in a beautiful decal of a Hyrulian crest. When they announced the XL I was giddy with excitement but decided that I could wait until they released it in black and an eternity later my patience paid off and as a good little Nintendo girl I showed up at the store day one and came home with my beautiful new XL. Such was my love for my original “customized” 3DS that I am not ashamed to say I shed a little tear as the system transfer became complete and it took me a few days to be good with my new friend but quickly we became inseparable once again. Since the first day I held my original and last 3DS in my hands there has not been a day that has gone by that I have not had a smile brought to my face as I opened my machine and sat back and enjoyed the fabulous new/classic worlds I was being transported too, with one exception of a few days of surgery and recovery earlier this year. This machine that has been my friend through good and bad was lovingly folded into a black case that I annoyingly had to find the perfect one and finally did, with 7 of the most important games I can never leave home without (just to name a few, Pokemon, ACNL, Monster Hunter) and it was currently awaiting my final decision on which fabulous decal would grace its sexy black surface, until forty eight hours ago. I am generally a very good natured soul and I always give people the benefit of the doubt even through the darkest of scenarios, I prefer to see butterflies and rainbows than clouds and lightning but 2 days ago a crack appeared in my shiny candy coating…

For those of you that like myself that have been addicted to their Mii Plaza and have collected all the hats and puzzle pieces, there is great news… We got more!!!!! This morning when I woke up I was greeted with a blue light that always makes me squeal with delight because that little blue light means that you have gotten extra funness delivered with love via Spot Pass, some in better forms than others. So this morning the little blue light greeted me with OH so much goodness that the Nintendo gods have finally brought to the US (of course, Japan and Europe had it first).

First our Street Pass Mii Plaza got a makeover, not only do we have new areas and games to explore but the world around you looks different with new landscaping and even a fountain too! There are two new selections you can make, there is an exchange booth where you can go and exchange tickets that you have won on the new games for accessories that are exclusive to this feature, this has also changed the setting where you customize your hat to outfits (could that be that we get more than just hats…). Then there is now a games section where you can access the previous Find Mii 1 & 2, as well as your puzzle panels but now there is also a cute little bunny that pops out of four different little rabbit holes and down the rabbit holes you can get new games.

Mii Force
This is a side scrolling shooter that along with street passing gives you the power to defeat all the evil space forces. The more people you street pass with the more you can shoot your enemies and each color shirt has a different power ability very similar to Find Mii 1 & 2.

Flower Town
This is an adorable little sim-gardening game where you can cultivate, customize, and even breed your very own hybrid plant, along with your fellow streetpasseres of course.

Warrior’s Way
This is a strategy style game that involves a bit of luck because as you, the leader of a small yet magical realm of followers must fight your way through the evil hordes of your enemies, your army is only as strong as the plaza of the Mii’s you streerpass with. So with the fate of the world ahead of you, you better hope you have “Lady Luck” on your side.

Monster Manor
This is slightly reminiscent of the ghostly manor in NintendoLand except with a puzzle style of gameplay. You acquire puzzle pieces from the Mii’s you streetpass with which allows you to progress through the haunted manor and find treasure chests and all sorts of other goodness to discover the secrets that lay hidden in the dark before you.

So get ready, cuz the cute little bunny will lead you down the rabbit hole and leave you $15 poorer if you buy the set of four games, otherwise you would have to pay about $5 each. So thanks Nintendo for finding yet another way to take my money!